Petfood Forum returns in person to Kansas City

The premiere conference for the global pet food industry returns in person to Kansas City, with an on-demand version for people unable to travel.

Photo by Andrea Gantz
Photo by Andrea Gantz

For the first time in more than two years, Petfood Forum will take place as an in-person event in Kansas City, Missouri, USA. The 2021 edition of the premiere show for the global pet food manufacturing industry is scheduled for September 22-24 at the Kansas City Convention Center.

With more people in the U.S. getting vaccinated to protect against COVID-19, traditional events are starting to happen in the second half of 2021. Petfood Forum will rejoin the conference line-up as the go-to place for pet food industry professionals to network, learn and do business. For those unable to travel, an on-demand version will also be available starting September 27.

How to keep pet food innovation going

After an opening reception the evening of September 22, the conference portion of Petfood Forum will kick off September 23 with a keynote by Tom Fishburne, the “Marketoonist.” A consumer goods marketing expert who shares his insights via cartoons, he will explain how pet food “Davids” can compete against “Goliaths” using innovation—or to remain innovative Davids even within a larger, Goliath-like pet food company.

During the presentation, Fishburne will use his cartoons to illustrate important concepts about innovation. Leading up to Petfood Forum, registrants will be able to enter their captions for a blank cartoon drawn by Fishburne, with several captions chosen for him to present during his keynote address.

The conference will also offer many other sessions, including the latest updates on the pet food market, consumer perceptions and purchasing behaviors; concurrent session rooms focusing on pet food sustainability, ingredient and nutrition research and keeping pet food safe with technology; plus panel discussions on fresh and human-grade pet food research, optimizing e-commerce for your pet food business and new research on cat nutrition.

The afternoon of September 24, Petfood Forum will close with a session revealing the results of exclusive consumer research conducted by Jefferies and Petfood Industry on changes in pet ownership and consumer engagement post-pandemic.

Exhibit hall: leading pet food suppliers, student research, more

Also starting on September 23 and going through mid-day September 24, a large exhibit hall will showcase more than 275 leading industry suppliers of pet food ingredients, equipment, packaging materials, testing services and more. The exhibit hall will feature a student center, where students from companion animal academic programs will present their recent research, plus Pet Food Tech Talks from top suppliers demonstrating their latest products and technologies.

Petfood Forum 2021 will offer pet food professionals many opportunities for networking, including during several meals, coffee breaks and receptions.


Petfood Essentials: Ingredients, product positioning, supply chain

During the day on September 22, an in-depth seminar, Petfood Essentials, will lead into Petfood Forum 2021. Petfood Essentials will offer a deep dive into ingredients: the main ones used in pet food, how they are selected for pet food formulations, processed, incorporated into pet food production and ensured to be safe.

Participants will rotate through five sessions led by industry experts on pet food product positioning and claims; the major ingredient categories and their key properties and benefits; sourcing, sub-assembly and upstream processing; ingredients’ effects on pet food processing, and vice versa; and safety, traceability and testing of ingredients.

Petfood Essentials will also offer networking with industry sponsors as well as other pet food professionals during meals, coffee breaks and a mixer.

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